#8 PENN STATE 17 MICHIGAN 27

Lousy stinking Donegan, this is all his fault!

Ugh, what a horrible result of a good football game — to be a great football game, we would have had to win, right? Sooooooo close to the payoff — bourbon, only to be denied with no time left. We instead mourned at Sine Irish Pub, since we figured an Irish Wake would better than an Italian wake where all the women are crying, or at least that is what Joe Paterno says.

It turns out all the men were crying inside (we sat outside) because of USC’s last second win over Notre Dame, so we were wrong. Just another crazy day in college football (AP/CDT), just ask Minnesota.

Before we get to down on the Nittany Lions, let us take stock in the fact that 6 – 1 is beyond our wildest expectations. This could still be an excellent season with a New Year’s Day bowl and possibly even a Big11Ten championship. Hopefully the players and coaches will recognize that and not beat themselves up. One game at a time, one game at a time.

Desperate ‘House’ winsCDT

BoxscoreESPN.com

NEW RANKING

In the AP Top 25 College Football Poll Penn State dropped four spots to #12, which is about right. In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, Penn State fell to #15, BEHIND Ohio State, which has two loses including one to the Lions. This is the type of thing that makes me take the AP Poll more seriously.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME

If this was based purely on the best offensive performance of the game, it would be Tony Hunt, who ran for 102 yards and got Penn State back in the game with 61 yard run in the fourth quarter to set up the Lions first touchdown. However, like most games this year, the most important player on offense was Mike Robinson, for good or ill. He fumbled in the first half and in the 4th quarter he telegraphed a pass that was picked off. He did regain his composure to lead PSU down the field for the game’s penultimate touchdown, which he scored, with :53 left. His two turnovers were very costly, even though Michigan did not convert either of them into points.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME

Another difficult decision, because no player dominated. Paul Posluzny had an off day, only 11 tackles. Alan Zemaitis stripped the football out of Chad Henne’s grasp and took it to the endzone, untouched, which shocked the crowd and put Penn State ahead. However, he was also about four steps behind Mario Manningham on the game’s final play. Zemaitis has been underwhelming this season.

Posluzny did have gash on the bridge of his nose that was bleeding from the first quarter on though, so I think he gets the honor.

SPECIAL TEAMS SHOULD RIDE THE SHORT BUS TO THE STADIUM

A diastros day for the special teams, PSU should fire the special teams coach. Oh wait, THEY DON’T HAVE ONE. The need for (a good) one was made quite clear yesterday. Two missed field goals and terrible kickoff coverage cost PSU the game, more than anything else, even more than the officiating. There was also a bad snap on the extra point after the second TD, but K Kevin Kelly was able to pick it up and take it in for a two point conversion — a great run by him that would have redeemed a poor outing if the defense could have held for another second.

I don’t even want to talk about PR Calvin Lowry.

ANN ARBOR OFFICIATING: SNAFU

No, the officials did not lose the game for Penn State, but they made it a little harder. I used to believe that Big11Ten team with the best record got the calls, but it is getting harder to deny that a Michigan bias looks awfully believable.

As usual, the zebras ignored holding throughout the game. My biggest beef was the missed penalty for an illegal block in the back on Michigan’s final kickoff return.

RHINO BAR: BAD STAFF AT ANOTHER VIEWING SITE

Fritz and I went to Rhino Bar in Georgetown to watch the game. We choose it because it was pleasant day to walk from Rosslyn Metro to Georgetown via Key Bridge.

Inside, the place was packed. They had a good deal on wings (a quarter each) and $6 Yuengling pitchers. That much, we liked about the place. HOWEVER, they dropped the ball. Around 3:38, they still had not switched the TVs to Channel 7 WJLA, which was broadcasting the game, a 3:30 start, 3:42, so I started a little chant — CHANNEL SEV-EN! CHANNEL SEV-EN! etc. It was well received by fellow Penn Staters, some of who joined in, but one of the bartenders did not like it so he told me to “F@CK OFF.” Really. I’m not kidding. Do you think that is a lot of attitude for a harmless chant?

So, with that attitude, I did not spend another dime there — no establishment that values their customers would have such a belligerent reaction. It was weird.

As you can imagine, I will not be returning to Rhino Bar and I discourage anyone else from going there. It is not our fault that the bartender choose the wrong occupation.

MORE NOTES

  • In addition for winning for winning’s sake, it would have been great if the Lions could have won to knock that stupid smile off Henne’s face. I have never seen a football player smile so much during a game, it is kind of creepy.
  • Steve Breaston did a lot of damage to Penn State, but I have to think I would enjoy visiting a place with his last name.
  • Lynn Swann made an excellent point about spiking the ball on first down right after a close call that might be reviewed. He really is the best all-time sideline analyst. I hope he does not run for governor of Pennsylvania because I enjoy him so much on television. It certainly would be an interesting contest though.
  • Derrick Williams left the game in pain during the fourth quarter. He was clutching his left upper body, so it could be any number of things. That could be a huge loss for the Lions.
  • Paterno kept the players from talking to the media. I am not sure how much that helps.
  • Prior to this game I got rid of two anti-Michigan items I owned – a “Calvin shirt” (classless, I know, it was a total impulse buy) and an inflatable X-Men Wolverine that I was going to lynch. I got these prior or during the losing streak and hoped to get rid of any bad karma that they carried. A CDT blogger took the theory even farther.
  • All is not lost!

    MORE LINKS

  • Penn State Football Official Site – from the “Kremlin”
  • Football Letter – password required, check the back of The Penn Stater UPDATED ON MONDAY
  • CDT coverage
  • Patriot-News coverage
  • Post-Gazette coverage
  • Tribune-Review coverage
  • 50 Yard Lion Blog – an Altoona dentist; daily
  • PA Sports Blog – mostly recruiting, if that is your thing
  • Nittany Lines Blog — sports ed. from The Morning Call
  • Dan Victor’s Front Row — student football columnist at the CDT
  • Ask Jeff Q & A
  • FightOnState.com — free
  • Blue White Illustrated — Phil Grosz, subscription required
  • Author: WFY

    Yet another Washingtonian pushing the ubiquitous Nats/DC sports, Penn State, commuting, bicycling, kayaking, broomball, skiing, gin & tonic agenda.

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